Decision on extradition of fugitive rabbi Eliezer Berland postponed

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A court in Haarlem, Netherlands, has postponed its decision on the extradition of controversial rabbi Eliezer Berland, who is wanted in Israel on sexual abuse charges.

The postponement is in response to a claim by Berland lawyer that most of the cases his client is accused of took place outside Israeli borders as recognized by the Dutch government.

According to the court’s persrechter (Press Magitrate, a judge who acts as an official spokesman for the court) that decision is ‘unusual.’

Berland, 77, fled Israel two years ago, and has since stayed in several countries. He was arrested at Schiphol Airport Amsterdam in late September. He had intended to fly on to the Ukraine.

The Openbaar Ministerie (OM — the Dutch public prosecutor’s office) two weeks ago asked the court to allow the rabbi’s extradition, stating that Israel’s request meets all the rules.

The OM says that Dutch evidence considerations currently play no role in the request.

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This post was last updated: Jan. 3, 2015